There has been a lot of talk about allowing players to wear shorts during practice rounds, or even tournament play, on the professional tours.
Now that the cat (or, in some player's cases, legs that shouldn't see the light of day) got let out of the bag in Abu Dhabi, the original governing body of golf had to jump into the fray. After all, the Open Championship is the biggest tournament in Europe. And it's the European Tour that's leading the way here.
In an official statement, the R&A said the following:
“We welcome initiatives that ensure golf remains modern and relevant to today’s generation of players but we do have to maintain a balance with the traditions of the game. While we already have our conditions of entry for the 145th Open at Royal Troon, this is something the Championship Committee will consider in the future. It would certainly be a pleasant dilemma to have if the weather here in mid-July is sufficiently warm for shorts to be desirable.”
I decided to do some checking, and the average high temperature in mid July in Southport England (home of Royal Birkdale, the host of the 2017 Open) is a balmy 17 degrees celsius, which equates to 62.6 degrees fahrenheit. (Yes, I used Google.)
That of course, doesn't include the odds of wind and rain, which are, well - high.
I've been bringing a large group to Bandon Dunes for 15 or more years, and have loved playing in British Isles weather on the Oregon Coast. The number of times I've worn shorts over 100-plus rounds? One.
But you've got to give the R&A credit for addressing the issue as it regards to the oldest major championship in golf. Because I've attended U.S. Opens (Southern Hills in Tulsa in 2001 comes to mind) that were so hot I felt bad for players in their long pants. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for the USGA or the PGA Tour to follow suit. Heck, there are many clubs in the U.S. that don't allow their players to wear shorts even in casual rounds.
I say go ahead, bring some fun and style to the game, and make Tour players look more like the rest of us. It might even help grow the game.
What do you think?